Public short shrift to Jaguars on home rejig


Jaguars wants $1b from taxpayers Image: Coliseum GSVA

The National Football League (NFL) team Jacksonville Jaguars might eventually be draining the pool at their residence – the EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida (US) – and scraping out something other than a candy bar.

‘NBC Sports’ stated that in the aftermath of a poll that showed little public support for $1 billion in taxpayer money for stadium renovations, the Jaguars have begun dropping not-so-subtle hints about potentially leaving town.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida (US). The Jaguars compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference South Division. The team plays its home games at the EverBank Stadium.

The 67,838-capacity EverBank Stadium is an American football stadium located in Jacksonville, Florida (US) that primarily serves as the home facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL).

Said Mark Lamping, Jaguars head honcho, “If there’s a referendum, the ballot question should be: Do you want to keep the NFL in Jacksonville?”

‘NBC Sports’ further stated that the current plan circumvents the ballot box, because frankly any public vote for free money for American oligarchs will fail, regardless of how they frame the proposition.

The poll conducted by the University of North Florida shows that only six percent of Jacksonville residents favor paying $1 billion. And 47 percent don’t care if the Jaguars will move without the money.

As pro sports teams that look for handouts often do, the Jaguars are tying the funding to the presence of a franchise and the presence of a franchise to the City’s legitimacy.

Added Lamping, “One thing we can’t do, recognizing that Jacksonville is not going to become a top quartile economy in the NFL, is that we can’t put the team, our fans or even the community in a position where we come up with a stadium solution that doesn’t put us on a path to being able to compete with the average NFL team.”

New York (US)-based the National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

In other words, Lamping is saying that the small market must give the team a lucrative stadium, or it will exercise its business prerogative to move to a bigger market.

Asserted Lamping, “Look, if Jacksonville loses an NFL team, they’re never going to get another one. And if the Jaguars have to relocate from Jacksonville, those of us that went down there would have failed. OK? And none of us want to face that.”

But who knows what they really want to face? Who knows what owner Shad Khan really wants?

The truth is that there have been occasions in which a team owner hoped the current market would fail to deliver something acceptable, so that the owner could move the team somewhere better. That’s what Khan’s former limited partner with the NFL team Los Angeles Rams did when Stan Kroenke moved the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles. He could have kept the Rams where they were, he wanted to make more money somewhere else.

Still, Khan wouldn’t just pull up the stakes and go to London (UK), or elsewhere. He’d need to position things to permit blame to be placed on someone other than him.

If that’s the plan, Lamping’s comments are the first tangible step in the direction of making sure that if the Jaguars leave, it won’t be perceived as blatant money grab but a necessity.

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